Image | Liceu a la Fresca

Ever since the use of smartphones became widespread, citizens have had access to many tools for all kinds of day-to-day activities: transport, leisure, training, travel, celebrations… There’s an application designed to help people do anything.

Recently we spoke of the obstacles people with reduced mobility face in cities, and presented some solutions to improve their quality of life. The Vodafone Spain Foundation is also committed to accessibility: in collaboration with a range of organisations, and with support from Mobile World Capital Barcelona, it is launching two initiatives to facilitate access to the opera by people with visual or auditory disabilities, and the use of public transport by the visually impaired.

Barcelona Òpera Accés: opera for all

The Vodafone Spain Foundation and the Gran Teatre del Liceu, in conjunction with the initiative Liceu a la Fresca, are launching an innovative application featuring audiodescriptions and subtitles for smartphones. This totally free application is mainly aimed at the visually impaired, but is also meant for those with auditory disabilities or trouble following the subtitles that are projected live.

Its content is now available in Spanish and Catalan: users simply download the app to their mobiles, currently only available for Android, and select the work they are going to see. In this way they can access the audiodescription and the subtitles to follow the opera in a synchronised fashion, and consult the accessible version of the programme. The application has been developed by SDOS, a Seville-based company with a presence in Barcelona.

Liceu a la Fresca will debut on 18 July at 10 pm with the performance of Verdi’s La Traviata at 14 venues throughout Catalonia. The opera will also be performed at 8 pm at the Gran Teatre del Liceu. All those attending any of the shows will be able to use Barcelona Òpera Accés.


Image | Barcelona Òpera Accés

Public transport accessibility project

In collaboration with the ONCE Foundation and the TMB Foundation, the Vodafone Spain Foundation backs a project to foster the social inclusion of the disabled. Through the use of two technological solutions implemented at Metro stations and bus stops, the three organisations seek to facilitate the use of public transport by the blind and those with limited vision.

For now two pilot programmes will be run, one for each type of solution. In the case of the Metro, the installation of beacons in the facilities will help the disabled make their way from the street into the underground cars, and vice versa. Through an application, the beacons will send directional information to the user’s smartphone at each turn along the route.

With regards to buses, the objective is for users to automatically be informed of the vehicle currently pulling up to the stop, its line number and destination, so that they can decide whether to take it or not. In addition, drivers will receive alerts when there is a disabled person at the stop.

All of these technological solutions focusing on accessibility for specific groups are complemented by the other cutting-edge initiatives undertaken in Barcelona, ever closer to becoming a premier smart city.